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Pollution, smoking, roads, obesity kill 4.7m Chinese a year

Published on Aug 29, 2014 8:38 AM
Smoke rises from chimneys and cooling towers of a refinery in Ningbo, Zhejiang province on Aug 19, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

PARIS (AFP) - Air pollution, smoking, obesity and accidents, especially on the road, kill at least 4.7 million Chinese a year and cost the country tens of billions of dollars, researchers said on Friday.

In an overview published in The Lancet, they said China had in some respects made great strides in health, boosting the average lifespan from 40 years in 1950 to 76 years in 2011 and rolling back many infectious diseases.

On the other hand, the risk of premature death and sickness from pollution, smoking, road crashes and "lifestyle" ailments is worse than before.

The trio of Chinese and US experts said China had the chance of learning from rich countries which had already been down this path, a by-product of rising prosperity.

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